Today’s wedding is such a visual treat and it doesn’t hurt that the amazing Jose Villa was there to capture every romantic detail of the day. David and Kevin ensured their guest’s experience was a top priority by providing them personal welcome gifts filled to the brim with delicious treats, a cocktail hour and dinner menu that makes our mouths water, and a beautiful night filled with dancing and laughter surrounded by colorful lush florals.
Photography by Jose Villa.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? For most guests, this was their first same sex wedding. Which made it interesting because we didn’t follow a typical wedding script. But we definitely didn’t want it to seem out of the ordinary. So we felt like we were able to borrow ideas from traditional weddings but also create our own feel and flow.
What was the best advice you received? Hiring wedding planners completely took a lot of the burden off of us. They were saviors! Having a band really brought people together and engaged the crowd. They were a large part of creating such a lively entertaining wedding reception.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Everyone always says to just relax and live in the moment and don’t stress out. I did that but I sweat easily. One should ALWAYS be prepared that they may be a little warmer than usual during their special day.
Event Planning & Design by Simply Chic Events.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Kevin worked hard on the hotel welcome gifts. We selected inclusions that had meaning and relevance—snacks or food from places we grew up. Reading, Pennsylvania inspired the Utz pretzels and chips. Dave grew up on a Dairy farm in Virginia so we filled little glass milk jugs with candy. We had baseballs with a special note on them and our wedding date because we both love the washington nationals baseball team. Everything in the bag was inspired from something having to do with us which made it very fun.
“We decided that the backyard of our house was ideal for a couple of reasons: the size of our backyard was perfect for the wedding ceremony and it was located across the street of a stunning historic property called Tudor Place. They allow tented dinners but no weddings larger than 70 people. Because we had 113 guests, we used the backyard for our intimate ceremony and Tudor Place for our tented dinner and cocktail hour.”
Your ceremony in three words. Personal, intimate, meaningful
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We worked with Jamie Sears & Kate Harlan of Simply Chic Events. It was important to us that our day was personal and reflective of who we are as a couple. We wanted to be able to share our joy and love with those nearest and dearest to us. Our favorite design detail was the hanging basket chandeliers in the dinner tent. We became engaged on a hot air balloon ride so not only were the chandeliers a statement maker, they had personal meaning.
Who officiated your ceremony? A friend of David’s. We selected her because we both grew up in spiritual families. Cindy is a pastor in a church so she was able to eloquently describe what brought us together, what marriage means to us currently and how our marriage will hopefully evolve. The ceremony was not religious but she spoke of a lot of components of spirituality.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Not a lot. We kept it very formal but geared off the traditional wedding ceremonies. We used our nephews as ring bearers. Family walked down the aisle before. But for us, we got ready together and walked down the aisle together as well.
What were your vows like? We chose to write our own vows. They were non-traditional but very meaningful to us.
What was your ceremony music? A violinist and pianist played for the ceremony:
Prelude: “Canon in D” by Pachelbel
Family Processional: “This is the First Day of Your Life” by Bright Eyes
Groom’s Processional: “All of Me” by John Legend
Recessional: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder
Ceremony Music provided by Elan Artists.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Having our family & friends present to share in our joy. Our sisters read our vows to each other which was special to us. Having family and friends be involved in the ceremony was special.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? We had to cover a small pool that is in our backyard so that we could fit all of our guests. We didn’t intend on it being a dance floor later in the evening so that was an unintended purpose for covering the pool which we enjoyed a lot!
“On Friday evening, an intimate dinner party was hosted under a beautiful sailcloth tent on the lawn at Tudor Place. It was such a magical evening and we felt so at home with our family and friends. On Saturday night, we hosted a black tie celebration for a larger number of guests at The Powerhouse in Georgetown. We envisioned a great party with lots of dancing, cocktails and delicious food.”
Why did you choose this location for your reception? Tudor Place is located across the street from our home so it allowed us to host our ceremony in our backyard and then walk to dinner with our families and friends. Tudor Place became an extension of our home that weekend. We selected The Powerhouse for our Saturday celebration based on the urban and fresh feel. The layout of the space allowed for great flow and dancing.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Most of our guests were from out of town. All of our venues were in Georgetown so we decided to embrace a Georgetown wedding with a modern flare. Tudor Place and The Powerhouse are both historic venues. Also the food, décor and experience for our guests were among our top priorities. We wanted our family and friends to feel comfortable and to have fun.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We had a 7 minute “welcome video” made by our videographer as we walked into the venue. The video was a mix of jokes about us and well wishes for our marriage. It was so special and emotional—a great way to start the reception before we shared our personal “funny vows” to each other in front of the crowd. Our videographer surprised and wowed us with that final product, which was edited in only a day before the wedding.
Did you have a signature cocktail? Our margaritas were the biggest hit at the reception. They were served with straws in little mini patron bottles.
Do you have any budget tips for other couples? We kept things in the budget that were very important for us and our guests to have a good time. Also, we wanted everything to be seamlessly easy for our guests. I think a budget is very personal so I don’t want to get into the specifics. But as an example of something we cut at the end—flower decor from our ceremony since our backyard was already so lush and pretty. And we cut a food truck at the end of the ceremony because it seemed a little unnecessary.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We tried to keep the reception something more formal, fun, and urban. So we used an old streetcar storing warehouse as our venue which is a historical site. Everything was brought in—from decorations to furniture, and entertainment to food.
Menu: First Course: Butter Lettuce and Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette, Avocado, Toasted Pistachios and Goat Cheese / Warm Butter Biscuits // Entrée: Sea Bass En Papillote / Fingerling Potatoes / Julienned Leeks / Wild Mushrooms / Carrots Lemon Beurre Blanc // Vegan Option: Eggplant Rollatini with Lentils / Fingerling Potatoes & Grilled Vegetables // Boozy Pops: Mojito, Bourbon Peaches n’ Cream, Strawberry & Chocolate Banana
Catering by Susan Gage Caterers.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Vanilla Cake decorated by my best friend using hand crafted sugar flowers with toppers of our Alma Maters—The Maryland Terrapins and Virginia Tech Hokies. A dessert trio of miniature lemon meringue mousse towers, butterscotch pots de crème & caramel popcorn sundae.
Cake and dessert by Cakes by Colin.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? We would learn how to tie a bow tie before the wedding which I didn’t know how to do! ;)
Head here for an easy step-by-step video on how to tie a bow tie!
What was your first dance song?
First dance: “All of Me” by John Legend
Mother/son: “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper
Reception Music by Party on the Moon.